“Breastfeeding provides a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed.” (American Association of Pediatrics, 2013).
The AAP recommends that infants be breastfed for a minimum of six months until the introduction of soft foods takes place, and continued until the first year of life. This is to ensure that the baby receives the best start nutritionally and receives all of the health benefits breastfeeding offers.
It has been speculated that breastfeeding may also help in preventing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed neurobehavioral disorders among children and teens. It is a disorder that makes concentration, behavior, and over activity difficult to control and maintain (U.S National Library of Medicine, 2013).
A group of researchers in Israel conducted research on the theory that non-breastfed babies were at a higher risk for developing ADHD. According to a July 2013 article published in Tel Aviv University in Israel,
“Children who were bottle-fed at three months of age were found to be three times more likely to have ADHD than those who were breastfed during the same period.”
This information has also been published in Breastfeeding Medicine. (Tel Aviv University, 2013).
This is a very interesting development in both the worlds of breastfeeding and ADHD that may help raise the rate of breastfeeding in America while lowering the rate of children diagnosed with ADHD.
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Tel Aviv University. (2013). Breastfeeding could prevent ADHD. Retrieved from http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=18883
American Association of Pediatrics. (2013). AAP Reaffirms breastfeeding guidelines. Retrieved from http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/AAP-Reaffirm...
U.S National Library of Medicine. (2013). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002518/